Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Spirit of the Law: Chanukah #21-23

(Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:21) “We say the Al HaNissim prayer during all eight days of the holiday.”
Rav Nachman of Breslov, zt”l, writes in his Likutei Moharan that the days of Chanukah are days of praise and thanksgiving. This is the main element of the next world, to praise and thank the King, since it is through gratitude and acknowledgement of His kindness that we begin to discern Him and draw close to Him. The more we know and recognize Hashem, the closer we are to Him.
Rav Nosson, zt”l, writes that the miracles that can inspire our gratitude are very numerous, and the greatest of them are those that enable us to achieve and hold on to true emunah. Genuine emunah enables us to stand fast and do what we can. We need to appreciate and be joyous because of every single good point, since each represents an eternal connection to Hashem. Rav Tzaddok HaKohein of Lublin notes that one can never sell his mitzvos since they are inextricably bound up with one’s soul and can never be detached from it. We must feel deeply thankful to Hashem for each and every good deed we have done until we find ourselves encouraged and changed for the better!

(Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:22) “We recite the full Hallel all eight days of Chanukah.”
Reb Nosson of Breslov, zt”l, writes that we say Hallel all eight days of Chanukah because the main way to overcome the force of the heresy of Yavan is through holy speech.

(Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:23) “On each day of Chanukah we read from the offerings of the tribal chiefs which were brought to dedicate the Mishkan.”
The Mekor Chaim, zt”l, brings the Midrash which states that when Haman cast lots to determine which month to make his decree against the Jewish people, Kislev was rejected because the tribal chiefs brought their offerings to inaugurate the Mishkan during that month. The Midrash illustrates the great protective power of their act of self-sacrifice. For this reason, and also because we are re-dedicating the Beis Hamikdash on Chanukah, we read from the parshas hanesi’im on these precious days.

No comments: